Just discussed is known as moral philosophy. Ethics can be defined in several ways. However, to give it a working definition, it can be defined as “The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc. ” (dictionary. Com, 2013). Another definition, albeit not a working one, is: “The branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions” (dictionary. Com, 2013).
The significance of ethics in criminal Justice and criminal procedure is a complicated issue. There are moral implications to every action no matter who a person is or what their profession. However, where profession is concerned, every profession has a code of ethics. From doctors to veterinary medicine, professionals are expected to hold to and act accordingly to certain standards. The criminal Justice system, and the criminal procedures with this system, is probably the most important profession there is, along with physicians, and, accordingly, they should abide by the highest ethical standards.
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The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created to limit the government’s power in the dispensing of punishment for criminal offenses (amongst other things) and to ensure that every citizen retains certain, specific rights under the law. “Human rights are argued to be the most promising basis for an ethically principled opposition to both excesses of punishment and an unduly instrumental understanding of penal practice” (Canton, 2009). Human rights are one of the most important issues when it comes to ethics in connection to punishing criminals or even misdemeanors offenders.
Canton also states in his article, “Nonsense Upon Stilts? Human Rights, the Ethics of Punishment and the Values of Probation”, in the British Journal of Community Justice, that our rights as humans “are distinctively important in discussions of punishment” (Canton, 2009) and that every attempt should be made to distinguish which rights should be forfeited as punishment for committing a crime and which rights should be retained regardless of any offense Ethics in Criminal Justice By Killing “Ethical issues regarding corruption and off-duty behavior have become an increasing challenge in criminal Justice” (Writing, 1999-2013).
Within the criminal justice system, ethics can be complicated by the moral implications of actions. Differences in cultures and different circumstances can affect the individual moral compass. However, all departments of criminal Justice operate by a certain code of ethics and by certain standards. But those standards and ethics often become challenged due to issues relating to police brutality, off duty conduct and corruption that we hear about all of the time through the media.
Before officially becoming a law enforcement officer or public servant, the applicant is put through a barrage of tests to make sure s/he is mentally and hectically able to perform the duties required of the position. Codes of conduct have been established and are expected to be adhered to whether off duty or on. When they are off duty, they are civilians however, according to their code of ethics, off duty or on, they are expected to set an example for others.
Unfortunately though, there are some who think they are above law and can get away with bending or breaking laws themselves. Conduct like this is a huge issue because they often receive a light punishment or others in law enforcement turn a blind eye because they are who they are. A common theme in the media is corruption in the criminal Justice area. Law enforcement, military personnel, and public servants could be (and have been) put into a position where they are offered a large sum of money to turn a blind eye to illegal activities.
In comparing law and real life ethics, “Ethics is crucial in decisions involving discretion, force, and due process, because the criminal Justice professionals can be tempted to abuse their powers” (Banks, 2004). Every day ethics are the choices we make, whether those choices are good or bad, and, depending on the individual, what /he believes or feels is right or wrong. Both are real life ethics but the ethics of law differ a bit. Regardless, ethics are very important and should be considered when decisions are being made either by law enforcement or individual.
The Constitution guarantees equal rights and equal treatment of all people. That includes people in the criminal Justice system (I. E. Those convicted of crimes and/or accused of them). Sadly though, equal treatment doesn’t always happen. The need for equal treatment in criminal Justice is so that those suspected or convicted of a rime receive fair treatment throughout the whole legal process (their arrest, trial, sentencing, incarceration, and re-entry into society). Equal treatment does not only benefit the suspect or convicted person though.
It also puts a good light on the system itself by promoting “public trust and confidence in the United States’ criminal justice system” (Cotter, 1999-2013). A system that provides fair and equal treatment strives to be free from discrimination, racism, unfair sentences, and obstacles that bar employment after an inmate’s release. Some major safeguards provided by criminal procedure are contained in the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The Fourth through Eighth Amendments are the people’s protection where criminal procedure is concerned.
To name but a few of the protections individuals have according to “the supreme law of the against double Jeopardy (being charged twice for the same crime), being forced to testify against oneself, and protection from excessive bail, fines, and cruel and unusual punishment. The criminal Justice system, and all parts of it, has a moral duty to uphold the law and protect every individual; equally, ethically, and without prejudice. Depending on n individual’s choice of which position as a servant of the law they choose, the oaths differ.